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NHBA Bronco All-Stars win crown

Youth Scene

Local 12-year-olds dominate three foes by combined 62-1 margin to advance to region tournament.

July 03, 2013|By Barry Faulkner
  • The NHBA 12U Bronco All-Stars won the district tournament
The NHBA 12U Bronco All-Stars won the district tournament (Courtesy of NHBA )

LOS ALAMITOS — Another weekend, another banner, another string of overmatched victims for the Newport Harbor Baseball Assn. U12 Bronco Division All-Stars.

The locals dispatched Cypress, 18-0, in the mercy-rule-shortened title game of the Southern California West Central District Tournament on Sunday at St. Hedwig School to cap a three-game romp in which they outscored the competition, 62-1.

That's four tournament titles in five events this season for Newport Harbor, which improved to 20-3 in all-star play and continued to add to its staggering statistical numbers.

Newport Harbor batted .476 in three games with an on-base percentage of .705. It committed just three errors, 17 fewer than its opponents. The locals batted around eight times in 13 innings, launched six home runs to give them 52 in 23 games, and posted a team earned-run average of 0.47, as five pitchers combined to strike out 19 in 15 innings.

Twice the opponent broke up a no-hitter in its final at-bat, including Sunday when Cypress had just one runner get as far as second base.

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Sunday's victory, the 18th time this season that Newport Harbor has invoked the 10-run mercy rule that halts the game scheduled for seven innings after the fifth or sixth inning, propelled the locals past this week's section tournament into the region tournament. The zone tournament, in which this team as 11-year-olds represented NHBA for the first time last year, will send teams to the Bronco World Series, Aug, 1-4 in Los Alamitos.

All nine starters and one reserve contributed to Sunday's 13-hit attack for the winners, who had three players get two hits apiece.

Right fielder Shawn Nielsen was two for three with three runs batted in, all of the latter on a monumental home run that drew oohs and ahs from the crowd. It was the third dinger of the tournament and the seventh of the all-star campaign for Nielsen, who was seven for nine with 11 RBIs in the three tournament contests. He reached base in eight of 10 plate appearances in the three games.

Catcher Caleb Ricketts was two for three with two runs batted in and two runs to make him seven for 11 in the tournament with six RBIs and nine runs. He reached base in all but one of his 12 plate appearances in the tournament.

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